Journey’s End: A Tale of Love

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Abraham Lincoln


A Note From the Author

A post written nearly 2 years ago. Lost to the ages, brought back to life. This article has been left in its entirety, with minor edits made to help the overall flow of the article itself. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!


In honor of this being my 69th post on WordPress (nothing to read into here), I thought it would be fun to talk about relationships and love. So if you’ve ever been curious about my thoughts regarding this topic or wondered what deep secrets Mike is hiding, this is the time.

A Rare Glimpse

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m management by trade. A benefit of management is a lot of proper management and leadership is understanding people. To not put a one size fits all label but rather see the little nuances, do some math, and create a picture of each person. One aspect in particular is emotional intelligence. Which, in a nutshell, is how well you understand others emotions, as well as your own. Can you accurately read someone’s facial expressions? Their body language? Are they fidgety? Does this mean they’re nervous? Excited? Uncomfortable? As you can see, it is a fairly complex topic and it’s taken me about 5 years (if not a lifetime) to have a somewhat decent grasp over. To go further, I’d also like to acknowledge the unconscious mind. I read a lot of business/ business psychology books and I’ve spent years learning how to pick apart my mind in order to reprogram my behavior. As such, I have a good understanding of who I am, what I want, and how to get there. I’ve also been an observer most of my life, with excellent listening skills (developed over time) and a desire to understand.

I Walk a Lonely Road

Say what you will about when boys and girls start to fall for each-other and develop crushes, but for me I’d say it was around first grade. The scenario was this: I go play with my friends or I go for a walk around the schoolyard with a cute girl. What did I choose, being a first grader? My friends of course. Any regrets? Nope. Then after first grade, there was another cute girl that came along. We went through elementary school, middle school, and high school together. I’m 99% sure she liked me and while I liked her, I made the mistake of going after the girl I couldn’t get. How did that go? As well as one can expect.  The girl that got away? perhaps, but let me make a note of that.


Everyone talks about the one. You listen to any love song and more often than not it’s about the one that got away. Usually the singer is filled with regret and what sounds pleasant to the ears is more often than not obsessive. You want to know how stalkers are born? Surprise, this is how. It’s not letting go and moving on. It’s OK to be upset and give yourself time to heal but sooner or later you have to move on. And of course, love is messy. Hormones run wild, people go insane. Love is indeed a feeling… Anyways, the point I want to make is that there are multiple “ones” out there. If a girl breaks your heart, don’t worry, another will come along. It may take a while, but it’ll happen.


So, back to the story. Come college, I took a break. I was waiting for someone to come along and save me from myself. I thought I deserved a girlfriend and resented those who had one. I sound like quite the charmer, no? Everyone has their issues and nobody is perfect, so I figured it would be fairly easy. My philosophy back then was girls dated assholes. And yet no one came… So I started burying myself in my work. Work was a distraction. After bumming around my Freshman year, I had a job by my Sophomore year. I’d go to class, work, and sleep. My first real taste of responsibility. I had money and that was spent on books and classes. Then I quit and joined student organizations, where I had even more responsibility. I was shy and awkward back then but I still remember one of my mentors saying, “one day the right girl will come along for you”. Simple, yes. True? Don’t know yet. Fast forward a few years to last Winter, when I first installed Tinder. I had my first date. Coffee by the water front. And afterwards? A walk along the water front and then a walk back to her car. We exchanged numbers and then? She got cold feet. I uninstalled Tinder and continued to focus on making myself a better person. I wasn’t perfect, but at least I was trying. Then came Spring… The cherry blossoms began to bloom and my professionalism was at it’s peak. At this point I was juggling both being the Director of Social Media for management club and being the Service Chair at the same time. I wasn’t looking for love. And then one of my friends decided to touch my arm… The cruelty of the human touch. Like a witch, she put me under a spell. I, being the rational individual that I am, tried to fight it and didn’t quite understand what was going on. After the touch and suggesting that we go dancing, she went in for the hug. If I had any chance at this point, it was now gone. The casual arm brushes, the “accidental” touching of hands, the subtle mention of weddings in everyday conversation, or the “how much I love fro-yo, we should go sometime”. Of course there is more (all of which is well documented in my personal journal) but I think you get the idea. So I said, “what the Hell?” and asked her out to drinks. She said yes and she tried to drag me back to her place to do God knows what with me. I politely declined, citing that I had a job interview in the morning. Being the Gentleman I was, I was in it for the long game. So come the end of Spring, we were making summer plans and it felt as though I was on top of the world. So I figured I would ask, “do you want to go on a date”? Not asking to date regularly but rather than “hanging out” it would require a tiny bit of commitment. What did she say? “I’m flattered Mike, but right now I’m looking to have fun, focus on myself, and then see what life has in store”. Best part? She was playing the field with her childhood friend, saying they were just “friends”.

So my fragile heart was now crushed to dust and I was  left to sweep what was left into an urn. And what did I do? I buried myself in my work. I found a summer job and simply worked. It was a summer thinking of what could’ve of been but what would never be. Up until this point I had always assumed women were more mature than men but this instance shattered that illusion. And then I was in Germany.

Germany was there to mend a broken heart. I had 3 months of pain and in a sense got a chance to hit the reset button. I worked on my flirt game. I learned German pickup lines, reinstalled Tinder and tested the waters. My goal, as I have so elegantly put it, was to be “wild and free”. So I played the field, saw how far that got me, and simply enjoyed the ride. Of course, it being 4 months, there wasn’t enough time for anything meaningful to transpire. That’s besides the point. I gained the confidence I needed, changed my look, and essentially was reborn in Germany as I made some of the most meaningful relationships in my life. This was the final hurdle, to break away from the shy and awkward Mike of the past and fully embrace who I wanted to be.

Coming Home

And now that I’m back from Germany, I’ve gone on a few dates. The first date was terrible (nothing in common) and the other date was interesting… Nice date (although no second date). And of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without a little more heartbreak. There was a girl in my class who once again touched my arm. Then she’d sit next to me everyday and invade my personal space. The “accidental” brush, the flushed face, dilated pupils, heavy breathing, even mimicking. And then the cursed corporate holiday came, Valentine’s Day. A holiday where people who are in relationships try to make up for 364 days of neglect (love should be year round) or a holiday that has now become single’s awareness day. So I, being the hopeless romantic I am, decided to ask her out to coffee after conferring with her friend beforehand on whether or not she was single (according to Facebook and the friend, the answer was yes). The result? I got a, “I’m flattered but I’m kind of seeing a guy from Spain right now”. And was my heart broken? Not at all. I was frustrated but I learned a lot in Germany. Perhaps more than learning to love others, I learned to love myself. So being rejected on Valentine’s day didn’t phase me.

The Fragility of Love

Over Spring break I went for a walk. I live on a mountain (more a glorified hill) and at the top of this hill is a park. I sat down and enjoyed the view. To the side I overheard a girl and a guy talking. The guy was trying to convince the girl (who was with another guy) to be with him. Over the course of a few minutes, the argument the girl made eroded and at first she talked about being loyal, then how they weren’t really together, and then it was over (rationalizing her decision all the while). The mood had soured and while I was simply there to gaze out to the horizon and ponder the vast mysteries of the world, I got up and without looking, walked back down the hill.  I always have to wonder how truly happy people are. People profess their love for each-other yet I don’t think many know what that truly means…

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The nightmares we believe

When we are children, we are afraid of the dark. We seek a candle to light us to bed. And still we dream of monsters. The battle between light and dark is constant. For without light, life cannot exist. The darkness twists and distorts, creating illusions and playing tricks on the mind. People spend most of their lives running and they forget the very reason they start running in the first place. It is only when the path forward is blocked that they have time to stop and catch their breath. And what do they see when they turn around? The creeping darkness.

So what is the darkness and what makes it so terrifying? Therein lies the  problem. The darkness is many things at once; regret, sorrow, guilt, anger, jealousy, rage. It is every secret kept, every opportunity not taken, and the time that you can’t get back. It is death incarnate, always chasing and never slowing, only wearing. And at the same time… It is nothing at all. We shine a light through the darkness and see nothing. No monsters and what we thought would be there, isn’t.

And yet we are afraid. It is only when we see the sun peak over rolling hills do we realize that forever long the night seems, the sun always rises.

Personally, I find comfort in the darkness; its shadow like a blanket. Perhaps not so much the darkness but rather the light that shines through. Some nights you may get a rolling breeze, and the soft glow of moonlight, which can be both mesmerizing and somewhat unsettling. The breeze can easily turn into a howling and the light can slowly recede, leaving only darkness. And yet, when we open our eyes, we realize morning has already come.


The Don’t let Mike Starve fund

This post, fun fact, has been sitting in my drafts since July of 2017. It felt incomplete and I had always meant to add more. So come today, I reread the post and have found it to be one of my better pieces and what was missing, was found. The only change I have made since then and now is the final line, "And yet, when we open our eyes, we realize morning has already come." I hope you enjoy this piece and am glad I finally get to share it with the world.

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Is the resume out of date?

The resume was created 500 years ago. That is old. As far as I can tell, over these 500 years not a lot of people have stopped and asked the question “is the resume out of date; is it time for an upgrade?” The consequence is evident. Instead of innovation we have simply worked our systems around the underlying fact, that, the resume is terribly inefficient and far from perfect.

Those born in the 1960’s or earlier never saw this consequence (when first applying for jobs). When my parents were applying for jobs, their interactions were almost always face-to-face. And then came the internet. When I was a child, the internet was a tool. Then came Myspace, Microsoft office, Facebook, then… You get the idea. Instead of a luxury, the internet has more or less become a necessity. More and more became digitized over a fairly short period of time; a tragedy of innovation is the resume ultimately got left behind.

And more so, populations have grown exponentially. Where once a high school diploma was enough, and achieving one was a sense of pride, a high school diploma is now a prerequisite. And while a College diploma is better, it is still not enough. The problem is not a lack of jobs but rather unrealistic criteria that employers have come to expect of newly graduated students. Everyone is supposed to be a leader, have excellent communication skills, be a 4.0 student, be involved on campus, and have someone who can vouch for them that A) either works for the company or B) Has a prestigious title. What’s more, employers want cheap. Instead of proper training programs, companies look to cut costs by having overly simplistic programs and simply choose the lucky few who do not require initial training.

That’s not to say all companies do this but after interviewing with a handful of companies and declining a few offers, the trend is alarming. What’s more is a lot of the more “prestigious” companies don’t take the time of day to look at your resume. We are keyword searches to some. The process has nothing to do with qualification but rather who can write well and use the best buzzwords. It’s an absolute tragedy. Is a text the same as an email? Is a phone call the same as talking to someone face-to-face? No. And many would agree. Does a page of paper tell the story of a person? Do a few sentences and a few bullets points show a persons charisma? Does it show their grit, how well they’ve dealt with adversity? No. And yet, with so many applicants, what is a company to do?

The best innovation, after centuries of having the resume, is the the Curriculum Vitae. What is it? The crude definition is a two-page resume. That’s it. If employers barely have time to read over a 1 page resume, who had the bright idea of “innovating” so that the resume is now two pages?

What can we do?

Call it naive, but I want to solve this problem. The resume has become a norm when it should’ve been discarded decades ago. We need a better standard to use. If we continue to perpetuate the problem by continuing to use the resume, imagine how much talent will be lost. Too many people have to ask the question “if I could only get my foot in the door…” Imagine a world with an open door policy. The question is how…

What’s being done

LinkedIn –

LinkedIn has done a phenomenal job of shifting the process towards the future. It’s created a community of professionals where people need not be afraid to share their stories and play with their professional identity. Easy apply takes the job search process and makes it a one-click, stress free hassle. I can write all my experiences on LinkedIn, employers can see what skills I have, and I can requests recommendations so employers don’t have to.

Staffing Agencies-

Staffing agencies have become increasingly relevant over the last decade. Staffing agencies work much like a middleman. If companies are feeling cheap, they can hire a staffing agency and essentially outsource their recruiting. These are professionals trained to sniff out potential. It’s a way to reach almost everyone and while not perfect, more often than not you will get an interview with a company that is a proper person-fit.

New Power School of thought-

New Power is the idea that information should be shared rather than withheld; blogging is an example of ‘New Power’. This is not so much a system or institution but rather an emerging social trend (as well as a new way of thinking) that is beyond exciting. Old Power is a system where seniority and title take precedence. As I’ve come to believe and see, this school of thought (old power) is on it’s death spiral. With the emergence of the internet, the potential employee is equipped with knowledge at their finger tip. Sites like Glassdoor have capitalized on this new school of thought and have brought a level of employer-employee transparency the likes we have never seen. While ‘old power’ still exists, I imagine it will be almost unheard of in the next decade or so.

A few closing thoughts

While the current trends are promising, if you’re unemployed, it’s still a tough grind and can seem impossible to get noticed. And that’s a shame. As far as innovating the resume, my idea is that innovation will come in the form of an App or perhaps a more visual format. Imagine if the resume was designed around telling a story. Instead of writing buzzwords on a piece a paper, imagine creating a five minute video where you didn’t feel pressure to say exactly what the employer wants to hear. The job searching (and application) process shouldn’t be a chore, it should be fun! And that comes only from employers and potential employees finding common ground. Especially in the realm of business, we need systems that reflect and encourage creativity, not ones that encourage cookie cutter attempts to impress employers.

A Call to Action

If you have ideas, don’t be afraid to express them. Nothing changes if we do what already has been done. Play around, discuss with friends and start creating the new normal. Try using your idea with an employer. If it fails, try again. And do not be afraid to share; sharing gives us a new perspective and helps an idea grow.


Thanks for reading! I’ve been wanting to talk about the resume for quite a few years now. However, each time I approached the topic it never felt quite right. It’s a sensitive topic and must be handled with grace. I hope this helps and feel free to comment below if you have ideas or simply want to point out what I might of missed.

A Donald Trump America: A nation divided

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln



The Road Ahead

As an American, I’m disappointed. I’ve taken some time to sit and collect myself as not to say anything I might soon come to regret. In fact, normally I would say nothing at all. Throughout my time in college I’ve learned to be politically correct and avoid controversial topics as not to set any fires. I’ve always had great respect for those who have advised me throughout my college journey and am forever grateful in the role they’ve played in helping me become the man I am today. Yet in this chapter of my life, I must do what I feel is right. So with that, you may be asking…

How did this happen?

Many laughed when Donald trump first announced his bid, and although I thought it was a long shot, I’ve never ruled out the possibility of Trump becoming our president.It was a nice diversion, a distraction from routine and quite an entertaining show to watch. This has not been the first time Donald Trump has made a bid for the office of presidency. In the past he’s always said he will run and “fix” this country, but as I would joke in elementary school, he simply needed ratings for celebrity apprentice.

The Media

Like I said, it was a great story. You’d be crazy not to cover Donald Trump. People love drama and excitement, and Donald Trump definitely provided plenty of it. Every week you could count on something new. Whether it was the Republican debates or simply whatever Donald Trump did in between, there was always something. But the thing is, the media covered Donald Trump too much. Instead of letting his 15 minutes of fame fade into the abyss, they propelled it towards space. And with all the news, Donald Trump could cherry pick. And he did. So he created an image of “evil” media, so that whatever was said, it would be “bad” and “untrustworthy”, or better yet, “rigged”.

The Silent “Majority”

Believe it or not, The electoral college does not represent the majority. It’s an outdated system meant for a bygone era. It worked in its time, but now it poses a detriment to democracy. Take a step back and think. Does it make any sense that someone can win the popular vote (which Hillary did) yet lose the  presidency? The popular vote, as its name implies, represents the entire nation. The majority of us did not vote for Donald Trump, we voted for Hillary.  A small minority of bigots (yes, I do not use this term lightly) used the electoral college to their advantage. Groups, such as the KKK, endorsed Donald Trump and showed up at the polls to cast their votes. I’m not saying all who voted for Donald Trump are bigots, I am simply saying that the majority of the minority is. Yes there is an appeal for Donald Trump as champion of the common man, but that he is not (that image is built on a foundation of lies).

James Comey

James Comey, the director of the FBI. Some may hail him as a hero, but a hero he is not. Comey directly (or as some might say, indirectly) intervened with the election process. I find it hard to believe that Comey couldn’t wait until after the election to continue his investigation into the Clinton emails. I am so sick and tired about hearing about the “emails”.  If you want something to talk about, let’s talk about Donald Trump being on trial for fraud, where he ripped off God knows how many students of not only their money but their future with Trump University. And perhaps (not perhaps) even worse, he’s due to stand trial for sexual assault after he is sworn into office. He has dozen of charges against him; what message is this sending? Hillary is by no means perfect, but my God. However, coming back to James Comey, I would like to say that it is a sad day when the FBI has become above the law, where the rules of democracy simply don’t apply and they’re allowed free reign. I used to have so much respect for our national security agencies but after this… So James Comey, instead of reading emails, how about you read this; if you’re any kind of decent human being, you should resign from your position. You should absolutely be ashamed of yourself. You claim Hillary was negligent (which she was and she admitted) but have you taken a look in the mirror?

Not my president

I love my country and I am proud to be an American. There is no need to make america great again because we live in one of the greatest countries in the world. Yet Donald Trump tore this nation down and made a complete mockery of us, played us for fools. Donald Trump found the biggest loophole in our system (the electoral college) and exploited it by focusing his campaign around bigotry. The world doesn’t see the majority of Americans, they see the man who is now in “charge”.  I personally will not stand by and watch democracy fail, to watch Donald Trump undo a decade worth of progress under Obama.

We the People

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke

We have a voice.  I am not going to sit idly by and watch my country burn. It is time for change and we are that change. If one man can tear down a nation, then imagine what a collective of progressive individuals can do. America is the land of the free and we have a right to exercise our freedoms. Our constitution and declaration of independence insure these rights. If we do not like our government, we have the right to do something about it. But as a united nation. Donald Trump led a campaign of hate and this is not what our forefathers fought for. United. States. Can it be more self explanatory? So instead of tearing each other down, lets plant our feet firmly and fight. We will not go quietly and we will not go alone.